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Tyronn Lue says Cavs will make lineup change

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Lue declined to say what change would be made.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers have been the worst team in the NBA since Christmas, and Tyronn Lue has been steadfast in his unwillingness to change the team’s lineup.

Well, after a team meeting Monday followed by yet another loss, this time to the short-handed San Antonio Spurs, Lue has finally changed his tune. This via Cleveland.com:

“I’m gonna make a change,” Lue said, though he declined to say what it might be.

Lue later revealed to Cleveland.com that he was still contemplating what move he could make, and there’s plenty of options.

The most obvious choice is to send Jae Crowder to the bench in lieu of Tristan Thompson. This would add needed size and rebounding to the Cavs frontcourt, and ideally slightly more rim protection. It would also ease the burden of Kevin Love of banging with centers that are much bigger and stronger than him.

Isaiah Thomas has had a fairly disastrous run thus far outside of a few bright spots, but it’s possible he could be benched in the short term. With that said, it’s pretty unlikely, and the Cavs would risk burning that bridge.

Finally, J.R. Smith could be sent to the bench, and at this point, it’s getting hard to justify his spot on the court. He’s not shooting well, he’s not defending well, and if he’s doing neither of those things, it’s hard to justify his presence on the court. Kyle Korver could earn more minutes as a starter, but a Thomas-Korver defensive backcourt is a scary thing to imagine.

Ultimately, the Cavs aren’t just one adjustment away. They’re going to have to make major shifts in how they play and, probably, in personnel if they want to dig out of this hole. In the meantime, they’ll still be grasping for answers.